Thursday, June 3, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. JUNE 3, 2010: HEADLINES:
VATICAN: POPE: HOMILY FOR SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
AFRICA: NAMIBIA: WOMEN PROTEST FORCED STERILIZATIONS-
EUROPE: TURKEY: HEAD OF CHURCH IN TURKEY MURDERED-
AMERICA: GUATELMALA: BISHOPS ASK FOR AID FOR VICTIMS OF STORM-
AUSTRALIA: CATHOLIC CHURCH HOLDS FUNERAL SERVICE FOR ABANDONED BABY-
ASIA: VIETNAM: OVER 1, 000 PRIESTS ARE ON MISSIONS WORLDWIDE-
POPE: HOMILY FOR SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
Vatican Radio report: On Thursday evening, under a stormy Roman sky, Pope Benedict marked the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In his homily at Mass at the Cathedral basilica of St John Lateran, Pope Benedict said, “It is this divine power, the same power that realized the Incarnation of the Word, which transforms the extreme violence and extreme injustice into the supreme act of love and justice.
Because of the unseasonably bad weather, the traditional procession of the Blessed Sacrament from St John Latern and Eucharistic adoration in St Mary Major was cancelled. The ceremony instead took place within the cathedral.
Below we publish a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Homily for Corpus Domini:
Dear brothers and sisters!
The priesthood of the New Testament is closely tied to the Eucharist. Today, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and near the end of the Priestly, we are invited to meditate on the relationship between the Eucharist and the priesthood of Christ. The first reading and the Responsorial Psalm, which present the figure of Melchizedek, point us in this direction. The brief passage in the Book of Genesis (cf. 14.18-20) states that Melchizedek king of Salem, was "priest of God Most High," and for this, "he offered bread and wine," and "blessed Abram,” who was returned from a victory in battle. Abraham himself gave him a tenth of everything. The psalm, in turn, contains in the last stanza a solemn expression, an oath of God himself, who declares to the Messiah King: "You are a priest forever / according to the order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110.4), so the Messiah was proclaimed not only King but also Priest. The author of Hebrews drew on this passage for his extensive and detailed exposition. And we echoed this in the refrain: "You are a priest forever, Christ the Lord" almost a profession of faith, which acquires special significance in today's feast. It is the joy of community, the joy of the whole Church, which, contemplating and adoring the Blessed Sacrament, recognizes the real and permanent presence of Jesus the Eternal High Priest.
The second reading and the Gospel rather bring attention to the Eucharistic mystery. From the First Letter to the Corinthians (cf. 11:23-26) is taken the fundamental passage in which St. Paul recalls to that community the meaning and value of the "Lord's Supper," which the Apostle had taught and transmitted to them, but that was at risk of being lost. The Gospel is in its turn the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, in St. Luke: a sign to which all the evangelists attest, which heralds the gift that Christ will of himself, to give mankind eternal life. Both texts emphasize the prayer of Christ in the act of breaking bread. Of course there is a clear difference between the two moments: when dividing the loaves and fish to the crowds, he thanked the Heavenly Father for His providence, trusting that He will not allow all those people to go without food. At the Last Supper, however, Jesus transforms the bread and wine into his Body and Blood, so that disciples can nourish themselves on Him and live in intimate communion with Him.
The first thing that is always to be kept in mind is that Jesus was not a priest according to Jewish tradition. His was not a priestly family. He did not belong to the descendants of Aaron, but of Judah, and he was therefore legally precluded from the priesthood. The person and activity of Jesus of Nazareth do not find themselves in the way of ancient priests, but rather in that of prophets – and in this line, distanced himself from a ritual conception of religion, criticizing the approach that gave value to human precepts tide to ritual purity rather than observing the commandments of God, that is, to that love for God and neighbour, which is "worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:33).
Even within the Temple of Jerusalem, the sacred place par excellence, Jesus performed a purely prophetic act when he chased the money changers and sellers of animals, all of which were used for the traditional offering of sacrifices. So Jesus is not recognized as a priestly Messiah, but prophetic and royal. Even his death, which we Christians rightly call "sacrifice", had nothing of the ancient sacrifices. Indeed, was the opposite: a most infamous death, by crucifixion, which took place outside the walls of Jerusalem.
In what sense, then, is Jesus a priest? The Eucharist gives us the precise answer. We can begin, again, from those simple words that describe Melchizedek: "He offered bread and wine" (Genesis 14:18). That is what Jesus did at the Last Supper: he offered bread and wine, and in that gesture summed up His whole self and his whole mission. In that act, in the prayer that precedes it and the words that accompany it, there is the whole sense of the mystery of Christ, as the Epistle to the Hebrews expresses in a decisive step that must be mentioned: "In the days of His earthly life,” the author writes, referring to Jesus, “He offered up prayers and supplications, with powerful cries and tears to God who could save Him from death, and, because of his complete abandonment to God, His prayers were heard and answered. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek."(5.8 to 10). In this text, which clearly alludes to the spiritual agony of Gethsemane, the passion of Christ is presented as a prayer and an offering. Jesus faces His "hour", which leads to death on a cross, immersed in profound prayer, which consists of the union of his own will with the Father. This dual and single will is a will of love. Lived in this prayer, the tragic proof that Jesus addresses is turned into an offering, a living sacrifice.
The Letter to the Hebrews says that Jesus "was heard." In what sense? In the sense that God the Father freed Him from death and raised Him. He was heard precisely because of his complete abandonment to the will of the Father: God’s loving plan was able perfectly to fulfil itself in Jesus, who, having obeyed even unto death on the cross, is become the "cause of salvation" for all those who obey Him. He is become the high priest himself, having taken upon himself all the sin of the world, as the "Lamb of God." It is the Father who gives this priesthood to Him at the very moment in which Jesus goes through the passage of his death and resurrection. It is not a priesthood according to the order of the Mosaic Law (cf. Lev 8-9), but "according to the order of Melchizedek" – according to a prophetic order, dependent only on its unique relationship with God.
Let us return to the expression of the Letter to the Hebrews, which says: "Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered." The priesthood of Christ involves suffering. Jesus really suffered, and He did so for us. He was the son and did not need to learn obedience to God, but we do: we always have and we always will. For this reason the Son assumed our humanity and allowed Himself to be “educated” in the crucible of suffering, allowed himself to be transformed by it, like the grain of wheat, which in order to bear fruit, must die in the ground. Through this process, Jesus was "made perfect" in Greek teleiotheis. We must pause over this term because it is very significant. It shows the culmination of a journey, one that is precisely the the Son of God’s path of education and transformation by suffering through the painful passion. It is owing to this transformation that Jesus Christ has become "high priest" and can save all who trust Him. The term, teleiotheis, correctly translated as "made perfect", belongs to a verbal root, which, in the Greek version of the Pentateuch, i.e. the first five books of the Bible, is always used to indicate the consecration of the ancient priests. This discovery is very important because it tells us that the passion was for Jesus as a priestly consecration. He was not a priest according to the Law, but He became so existentially, in His in its paschal passion, death and resurrection, He offered Himself in atonement – and the Father, exalting Him above all creatures, constituted Him universal Mediator of salvation.
We now return, in our meditation, to the Eucharist, which will soon be at the centre of our liturgical assembly and subsequent solemn procession. In it, Jesus anticipated his sacrifice, not a ritual sacrifice, but a personal one. Jesus, in the Last Supper, moved by the "eternal spirit" with which He will then offer Himself on the Cross (cf. Heb 9:14), acts. Giving thanks and praise, Jesus transforms the bread and wine. It is Divine love, which transforms: the love with which Jesus accepts in advance the act of giving all of Himself to us. This love is nothing but the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, which consecrates the bread and wine, and changes their substance into the Body and Blood of the Lord, making present in the Sacrament the same sacrifice that takes place cruelly on the Cross. We may therefore conclude that Christ was the real and effective priest, because he was full of the strength of the Holy Spirit, was filled with the fullness of God's love, and this, precisely, "in the night he was betrayed," precisely in the “hour of darkness"(cf. Lk 22:53). It is this divine power, the same power that realized the Incarnation of the Word, which transforms the extreme violence and extreme injustice into the supreme act of love and justice. This is the work of the priesthood of Christ, which the Church has inherited and carried through history, in the twofold form of the common priesthood of the baptized and that of ordained ministers, in order to transform the world with the love of God. Everyone, priests and lay faithful alike, are nourished by the same Eucharist, we all prostrate ourselves in adoration, for the Eucharist is present our Master and Lord, the true Body of Christ, Priest and Victim, the Salvation of the world. Come, let us exult with songs of joy! Come let us adore Him! Amen.
NAMIBIA: WOMEN PROTEST FORCED STERILIZATIONS
All Afica report. Bus loads of women and men with their mouths gagged with sellotape, marched from Katutura to the head office of the Ministry of Health and Social Services to hand over a petition to end forced sterilisations.
This was one of many mass actions in solidarity with three plaintiffs that are suing the ministry for alleged violation of their right to dignity, non-discrimination, and the right to start a family.
Similar solidarity events took place at the Namibian embassies in Pretoria, Lusaka, and Washington DC.
Sit-ins were also planned at the Ondangwa and Windhoek State hospitals.
"HIV-positive women are holding the healthcare system accountable for the wrongs done to them," said Veronica Kalambi of the Women's Health Network.
In 2007, reports surfaced that women seeking medical care were allegedly subjected to sterilisation without their informed consent at two state hospitals.
In 2008, 15 cases were documented, "which appear to be merely the tip of the iceberg", said the petition.
The petition condemned the alleged forced sterilisation, and called for an end to it.
The petition said numerous human rights have been violated, including those guaranteed and protected by the Namibian Constitution and international treaties.
These are the right to liberty and security, to health, to found a family, reproductive health, family planning, privacy, equality, and the right to a life, and freedom from discrimination.
"We call on Government to send a clear message that it will not tolerate the violation of any woman's fundamental right to make free and informed decisions about her own body and health, particularly with regard to reproductive choices, and further that it is actively pursuing initiatives to end discrimination against people living with HIV," said the petition.
The demonstrators called on Government to issue a circular to both public and private health facilities to prohibit sterilisation without consent and to clearly lay out procedures that lead to informed consent.
They further asked for a review and update of current reproductive health policies to reflect the same, and said health workers should be trained on the rights of patients, including the right to informed consent.
The petition said health workers should receive adequate training on the need for patients to receive quality and non-discriminatory medical care, regardless of their HIV status.
It further calls for the establishment of an accessible complaint mechanism where violations of patients' rights can be reported.
The petitioners said they want a public enquiry into sterilisation without consent to ensure just compensation to these women. Another matter they want addressed is the option of sterilisation reversal.
CATHOLIC CHURCH HOLDS FUNERAL SERVICE FOR ABANDONED BABY
Cath News report: The funeral service at St Brendan's Catholic Church in Central Victoria for an abandoned baby began with the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and ended with Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
The body of the newborn baby was discovered wrapped in a blanket inside a green shopping bag in a bus stop near Shepparton in July 2008, ABC reported. His mother has not been identified.
Police Chaplain Monsignor Peter Jeffrey told the congregation the boy's life had been cut short and the community has been touched by his story. School students formed a guard of honour as his small white coffin was driven away for burial.
TURKEY: HEAD OF CHURCH IN TURKEY MURDERED
ANSA REPORT - Ankara, June 3 - The head of the Catholic Church in Turkey, Msgr Luigi Padovese, was killed Thursday in the southeastern Mediterranean port of Iskenderun.
Turkish media said it was his Turkish driver, a man named Murat, but did not cite sources.
The Vatican's nuncio in Turkey, Msgr Antonio Lucibello, confirmed to ANSA that Msgr Padovese had been killed.
"At the moment I don't have more detailed news. But from what I have heard, Msgr Padovese's driver Murat is said to have confessed to (the murder)".
"It's strange because I have always seen the man as a person who was very devoted to Padovese".
Vatican Spokesman father Federico Lombardi described the priests's murder as "incredible" and "horrible".
"What has happened is terrible, especially when you think of other (attacks) in Turkey, like the murder of Father (Andrea) Santoro four years ago". There have been a number of attacks on Turkey's tiny Christian minority in recent years.
Father Santoro, 58, was shot dead by a 17-year-old Turk in his church in the Black Sea town of Trabzon in February 2006.
Msgr Padovese was set to leave Friday for Cyprus to meet Pope Benedict XVI along with other Middle Eastern Catholic representatives and patriarchs.
The meeting will lay the groundwork for a synod of Middle Eastern bishops at the Vatican in October. photo: Msgr Padovese (right) at Father Santoro's funeral
GUATELMALA: BISHOPS ASK FOR AID FOR VICTIMS OF STORM
CNA report: Bishop Victor Hugo Palma of Escuintla in Guatemala urged Catholics to offer assistance to those impacted by Tropical Storm Agatha and the country's volcanic eruption in San Vicente. “We are all called to offer as little or as much as we can” to help those who have lost everything.”
Bishop Palma urged Guatemalans to turn the Lord in these difficult times in which natural disasters have struck a country already suffering from social ills. Societal and family problems, he recalled, are “caused by human evil which is the fruit of sin.” “They also bring tears to our eyes and afflict us to the point that we recognize" not only the "urgent need to rebuild” following the natural disasters, but also the necessity of creating “an environment respecting life and the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death,” he said.
The bishop called on Guatemalans to look to the Word of God, “which acts as lamp unto our feet amidst the suffering of our brothers and sisters. It ignites our faith, which in difficult times turns into hope and strength.”
VIETNAM: OVER 1, 000 PRIESTS ARE ON MISSIONS WORLDWIDE
Asia News report: 4 thousand others work at home. The data pointed out by Card. Pham Minh Man in a meeting for the Year for Priests,, described as "an opportunity to build a 'new life' in the priestly family, community, society and the Church."
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – There are 5,200 Vietnamese priests, 1,200 of whom carry out their mission in more than 100 countries worldwide. The figure, part of a growing Vietnamese clergy, was highlighted by the Cardinal of Ho Chi Minh City, Joseph Phan Minh Man, during a meeting that brought together in the archdiocese of Saigon bishops and priests of 10 diocese.
More than a thousand priests (559 of the diocese of Xuan Loc and 662 from Saigon) in late May, gave an exhibition of their work experience, pastoral activities and brought to light the way to work for a "new life". Bishops and priests of My Tho, Long Xuyen, Can Tho, Vinh, Saigon, Xuan Loc, Phu Cuong, Phan Thiet, Da Lat and Ba Ria were present.
"We are meeting - said the Cardinal Pham Minh Man – during the Year for Priests, which is an opportunity to build a 'new life' in the priestly family, community, society and the Church. From this point of view, the priesthood will be service for hope, justice, love and peace of Jesus. "
Priests and bishops have expressed their thoughts as “experiences of the flowering and maturing of the Word of God ": experiences of mission, how to put God's Word into action, how to listen, how to pray or show that these beliefs are not only expressed in "words" but "also in lifestyles and pastoral activities”.
The cardinal also discussed the development of the "Levi Family", which gathers together the Vietnamese priests. In 1668 (332 years ago) there were only about four clerics. In 1770 (after 102 years) there were 44 (increased 11-fold) and in 1800 that number had grown three times over. In 1963 there were about 1200 and now there are 5200, 4 thousand of whom live and work in Vietnam and 1,200 who live and work abroad.
Therefore, during the "Hoi Ngo (the meeting), cardinal, bishops and priests present thanked God, because historical events have made Vietnamese priests messengers of the Good News around the world. At one time, the messengers of Good News came from Europe to Vietnam, now in the 21st century, the Vietnamese priests to have become messengers of the Good News in more than one hundred countries around the world.
Sts. Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa, Martyrs of Uganda
Feast: June 3
Information: Feast Day: June 3
Born: Buganda, Uganda
Died: June 3, 1886, Namugongo, Uganda
Canonized: October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine: Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs, Namugongo
Patron of: African Catholic Youth Action, converts, torture victims
Joseph Mkasa himself was the first victim: Mwanga. seized on a trifling pretext and on November 15, 1885, had him beheaded. To the chieftain's astonishment the Christians were not cowed by this sudden outrage, and in May of the following year the storm burst. When he called for a young 'page' called Mwafu, Mwanga learned that he had been receiving religious instruction from another page, St. Denis Sebuggwawo; Denis was sent for, and the king thrust a spear through his throat. That night guards were posted round the royal residence to prevent anyone from escaping.
St. Charles Lwanga, who had succeeded Joseph Mkasa in charge of the 'pages', secretly baptized four of them who were catechumens; among them St Kizito, a boy of thirteen whom Lwanga had repeatedly saved from the designs of the king. Next morning the pages were all drawn up before Mwanga, and Christians were ordered to separate themselves from the rest: led by Lwanga and Kizito, the oldest and youngest, they did so—fifteen young men, all under twenty-five years of age. They were joined by two others already under arrest and by two soldiers. Mwanga asked them if they intended to remain Christians. "Till death!" came the response. "Then put them to death!"
The appointed place of execution, Namugongo, was thirty-seven miles away, and the convoy set out at once. Three of the youths were killed on the road; the others underwent a cruel imprisonment of seven days at Namugongo while a huge pyre was prepared. Then on Ascension day, June 3, 1886, they were brought out, stripped of their clothing, bound, and each wrapped in a mat of reed: the living faggots were laid on the pyre (one boy, St Mbaga, was first killed by a blow on the neck by order of his father who was the chief executioner), and it was set alight. The persecution spread and Protestants as well as Catholics gave their lives rather than deny Christ. A leader among the confessors was St Matthias Murumba, who was put to death with revolting cruelty; he was a middle-aged man, assistant judge to the provincial chief, who first heard of Jesus Christ from Protestant missionaries and later was baptized by Father Livinhac, W.F. Another older victim, who was beheaded, was St Andrew Kagwa, chief of Kigowa, who had been the instrument of his wife's conversion and had gathered a large body of catechumens round him. This Andrew together with Charles Lwanga and Matthias Murumba and nineteen others (seventeen of the total being young royal servants) were solemnly beatified in 1920. They were canonized in 1964.
When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their nativel language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them.
Feast: June 3
Information: Feast Day: June 3
Born: 475, Lyon, France
Died: 545, Tours, France
Was daughter of Chilperic, younger brother to Gondebald, the tyrannical king of Burgundy, who put him, his wife, and the rest of his brothers, except one, to death, in order to usurp their dominions. In this massacre he spared Chilperic's two fair daughters, then in their infancy. One of them became afterwards a nun; the other, named Clotildis, was brought up in her uncle's court, and by a singular providence, was instructed in the Catholic religion, though she was educated in the midst of Arians. It was her happiness in the true faith, to be inspired from the cradle with a contempt and disgust of a treacherous world, which sentiments she cherished and improved by the most fervent exercises of religion. Though she saw herself surrounded with all the charms of the world, and was from her infancy its idol, yet her heart was proof against its seductions. She was adorned with the assemblage of all virtues; and the reputation of her wit, beauty, meekness, modesty, and piety, made her the adoration of all the neighboring kingdoms, when Clovis I., surnamed the great, the victorious king of the Franks, demanded and obtained her of her uncle in marriage granting her all the conditions she could desire for the free and secure exercise of her religion.1 The marriage was solemnized at Soissons, in 493. Clotildis made herself a little oratory in the royal palace, in which she spent much time in fervent prayer and secret mortifications. Her devotion was tempered with discretion, so that she attended all her business at court, was watchful over her maids, and did every thing with a dignity, order, and piety, which edified and charmed the king and his whole court. Her charity to the poor seemed a sea which could never be drained. She honored her royal husband, studied to sweeten his warlike temper by Christian meekness, conformed herself to his humor in things that were indifferent; and, the better to gain his affections, made those things the subject of her discourse and praises in which she saw him to take the greatest delight. When she saw herself mistress of his heart, she did not defer the great work of endeavoring to win him to God, and often spoke to him on the vanity of his idols, and on the excellency of the true religion. The king always heard her with pleasure; but the moment of his conversion was not yet come. It was first to cost her many tears, severe trials, and earnest perseverance. After the baptism of their second son, Clodomir, and the infant's recovery from a dangerous indisposition, she pressed the king more boldly to renounce his idols. One day especially, when he had given her great assurances of his affection, and augmented her dowry by a gift of several manors, she said she begged only one favor of his majesty, which was the liberty to discourse with him on the sanctity of her religion, and to put him in mind of his promise of forsaking the worship of idols. But the fear of giving offence to his people made him delay the execution. His miraculous victory over the Alemanni, and his entire conversion in 496, were at length the fruit of our saint's prayers.
Clotildis, having gained to God this great monarch, never ceased to excite him to glorious actions for the divine honor: among other religious foundations he built in Paris, at her request, about the year 511, the great church of SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's. This great prince had a singular devotion to St. Martin, and went sometimes to Tours, to prostrate himself in prayer at his tomb. He sent his royal diadem, which is called, to this day, The Realm, a present to pope Hormisdas, as a token that he dedicated his kingdom to God. His barbarous education and martial temper made it, in certain sallies of his passions, difficult for Clotildis to bridle his inclination to ambition and cruelty, so that he scarce left any princes of his own relations living, except his sons. He died on the 27th of November, in the year 511, of his age the forty-fifth, having reigned thirty years. He was buried in the church of the apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's, where his tomb still remains. An ancient long epitaph, which was inscribed on it, is preserved by Aimoinus, and copied by Rivet. His eldest son Theodoric, whom he had by a concubine before his marriage, reigned at Rheims over Austrasia, or the eastern parts of France, which comprised the present Champagne, Lorraine, Auvergne, and several provinces of Germany. Metz was afterwards the capital of this country. As to the three sons of Clotildis, Clodomir reigned at Orleans, Childebert at Paris, and Clotaire I., at Soissons. This division produced wars and mutual jealousies, till, in 560, the whole monarchy was reunited under Clotaire, the youngest of these brothers. St. Clotildis lived to see Clodomir defeat and put to death Sigismund, king of Burgundy; but soon after, in 524, himself vanquished and slain by Gondemar, successor to Sigismund; Gondemar overcome and killed by Childebert and Clotaire, and the kingdom of Burgundy united to France. The most sensible affliction of this pious queen was the murder of the two eldest sons of Clodomir, committed in 526, by their uncles Childebert and Clotaire, who seized on the kingdom of Orleans. This tragical disaster contributed more perfectly to wean her heart from the world. She spent the remaining part of her life at Tours, near the tomb of St. Martin, in exercises of prayer, almsdeeds, watching, fasting, and penance, seeming totally to forget that she had been queen, or that her sons sat on the throne. Eternity filled her heart, and employed all her thoughts. She foretold her death thirty days before it happened; having been admonished of it by God at the tomb of St. Martin, the usual place of her tears. In her last illness, she sent for her sons Childebert, king of Paris, and Clotaire, king of Soissons, and exhorted them, in the most pathetic manner, to honor God and keep his commandments; to protect the poor, reign as fathers to their people, live in union together, and love and study always to maintain tranquillity and peace. She scarce ever ceased repeating the psalms with the most tender devotion, and ordered all she had left to be distributed among she poor; though this was very little; for she had always been careful to send her riches before her by their hands. On the thirtieth day of her illness she received the sacraments, made a public confession of her faith, and departed to the Lord on the 3d of June, in 545. She was buried, by her own order, in the church of St. Genevieve, at the feet of that holy shepherdess, and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 3d of June. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc., and Fortunatus; and among the moderns, Abbe Du Bos and Gilb. le Gendre, Antiquites de la Nation et Monarchie Francoise, &c.
Mark 12: 28 - 34
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"
29 Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one;
30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
31 The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
32 And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he;
33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question.